Narrative Therapy Online
What is Narrative Therapy?
Narrative therapy understands people’s lives and identities as stories, and works with clients to re-write these stories to create new, more satisfying plotlines. Thinking of your life as a story can help you separate your identity from what you have experienced (including negative experiences) - as the Narrative Therapy saying goes, “the person is not the problem, the problem is the problem.” It can also help you question which people or structures told you stories about yourself (e.g., parents, society, systemic racism), who benefited from you taking on that story, and what about the story you might want to change. At its heart, Narrative Therapy is a social justice oriented therapy that works to help clients resist systemic oppression and and discover their own talents and resiliencies.
What Narrative Therapy looks like varies across clients as it is tailored to the particular life circumstances and preferences of each client. Typically, Narrative Therapy takes at least 20 sessions. The first part of therapy is getting to know you and your life story, and creating a safe relationship in therapy where you can feel comfortable and heard. The next phase of Narrative Therapy involves working with your story and discovering what parts of it you would like to rewrite. This is often guided by exercises in therapy such as: externalization (imagining problems as separate from yourself e.g., visualizing your self-criticism as a monster), writing letters to yourself or others, and connecting with people who have had similar experiences.
I use Narrative Therapy with individuals, and as a guiding philosophy for couples work. You can learn more about what to expect from individual therapy and couples therapy by exploring the particular type of service in which you are interested:
If relevant, you can also learn more about some conditions we treat:
Who Can Benefit from Narrative Therapy?
Anyone who is curious about their life and feels that there are parts of it they would like to change can benefit from Narrative Therapy. Narrative Therapy is of most benefit to people who have the time and space available to explore their life history and emotions, and are willing to tolerate temporarily increased distress in the service of feeling better in the long term.
What are the Benefits of Narrative Therapy?
At the end of Narrative Therapy, clients typically report increased self-esteem, increased mood, an appreciation for how their story has been shaped by other people and systemic forces, and hope for their ability to continue re-authoring their story. Narrative Therapy has found to be an effective therapy for working with couples, individuals and communities (e.g., Freedman & Combs, 2015; Lopes et al., 2014; Wood et al., 2015).
Book a Narrative Therapy Consultation
Please use the contact form below to get in touch if you would like to book a free initial 20 minute conversation about narrative therapy or to ask any questions. I welcome questions and comments from folks at all stages of their journey, whether you’re researching options, curious about therapy, or ready to book an appointment.